Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A First Birthday for a Little Viking

I think he matched the picture dead on!

I had been brainstorming Calvin's first birthday party for what seemed like months.  I even blogged about it previously here and detailed out the decorations and various ideas.  Sweden doesn't have any "big box" stores like Toys R Us, Target, Walmart, etc, so finding decorations and simple things like paper plates and cups turned into a 4 week scavenger hunt around Stockholm.

To complete the viking theme, I needed some blue and yellow streamers, plates, and a Happy Birthday banner (in English).  We also needed to find appropriate viking helmets, swords and a dragon.

Super cute dragon and defensive gear
Jon wanted to make sure that Calvin wasn't the only viking in town, so we headed to Gamla Stan to find him an accompanying Viking t-shirt that was befitting a proud papa.  I think we were successful.

I did order the Knight's Castle Play Tent but we decided to make a venue switch at the last moment and hold the party at the nearby park since the weather was so beautiful (~50F and sunny).  It ended up being a good switch since the kids were able to take a nap in their strollers and Calvin was able to convince his Pepere to take him down the slide once or twice.

Cute castle that never left our living room
3 little vikings and their mammas
Slaying dragons is exhausting! 
Eyeballing the slide...
Alessandro was ready to party!
 The only real hiccup, if you can even call it that, was that Calvin decided to take a nap halfway through his own party.  This kind of ground the festivities to a halt as you can't cut the cake until the birthday boy has made his first birthday wish.  Some guests had to leave early as you can't wait forever for a one year old to wake up from his nap, but I made sure that everyone looked at the famous dragon cake before they left.

The cake came out better than I could have planned.  This was mostly due to the obligatory "practice" cake that Jon had requested earlier.  During Sam's visit, we scouted out all of the best Swedish candy substitutes for an American recipe and I had her smuggle in some Fruit Rollups for the dragon wings and flamed tongue.  Thankfully she thought ahead and also brought some food coloring or I would have had to conjure up a DIY food dye.  Joann was also on hand to help me frost the dragon which was really helpful since I had forgotten much of what I had learned from the first dragon.  *Note, the cut sides of the cake should face down on the plate to avoid getting crumbs in the frosting.*  It's things like this that you learn with practice.  Fortunately, I'll have many more birthdays to hone my skills.

It was a beautiful day and Calvin was ready to smash into some cake once he woke up from his nap.  He played with his buddy Alessandro for a while and then we all went home to play in the knight's castle.  I couldn't have asked for a more perfect party for my special boy.

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